After immense speculation in the press that French mobile phone giant Orange where interested in buying into the broadband on-demand video project Kangaroo technology, it appears that they may now have gone off the boil. France Telecom owns Orange and was reportedly very interested in the broadband project to add to their already up and running service, Orange TV. It is estimated that Orange TV currently has an estimated 1 million subscribers, and with the proposed acquisition of the broadband on-demand video service it would allow them to expand their coverage in France.
Project Kangaroo was an ambitious broadband on-demand video venture originally planned by the big television media names in the UK, BBC, Channel Four and ITV. The launch of the new video on demand project was planned for March 2009, however after an indepth review by the Competition Commission it was determined to infringe strict competition rules and so the plan was shelved at the eleventh hour. Since the abandonment of the project by the original backers who had invested some £20 million, they have been seeking a suitable buyer for the technology ever since.
Orange is believed to have adopted a more cautious approach to the proposed acquisition due to the volatile economic climate. They have however reiterated their commitment to become a ‘major player’ in the UK home entertainment market in the future.
It is believed that Orange was not the only interested party and that a technology company was also in talks with the backers to purchase all the assets of project Kangaroo it is thought for a much reduced price tag. It is hoped that the on-demand video service that has taken much time, effort and cost to develop will eventually be sold, however some believe that as time passes the technology developed is fast becoming obsolete.